Jul 31, 2015

Series Love and a Sale

I love connected books! Dipping back into the world where the characters I've fallen in love with are still living their lives, settling in with a town or place where I know I'll be visiting for a while, feeling like I'm part of an entire community. 

I love them so much I've written another series about a family - the Hawke brothers. The first The Nanny Proposition is already out (and now on sale!), the second Bidding on Her Boss will be out in September, and the third, His 24-Hour Wife will be out in October.

So to help celebrate my love of series, I want to share some of my favourite series with you, and ask for some of your recommendations back!

Nora Roberts, Three Sisters Island Trilogy
Dance Upon the Air, Heaven and Earth, Face the Fire

I loved the light paranormal element (all three heroines are witches), the island community, the gorgeous heroes, and pretty much everything about these books. I read them years ago - in fact, they were my first Noras - and have reread them since. In fact, I might be due for a re-read now!

Eloisa James, The Essex Sisters
Much Ado About You, Kiss Me Annabel, The Taming of the Duke, Pleasure For Pleasure

I adored these books about the five Essex sisters who are sent to live with their guardian - a drunk duke who needs to pull himself together. My favourite hero of the books was that duke, Rafe - his story of redemption was gorgeous.

Jill Shalvis, Lucky Harbor
Too many titles to list, but the first three are great - Simply Irresistible, The Sweetest Thing, Head Over Heels. 

These first three of the Lucky Harbor books are about three sisters who've grown up apart and are brought together by the death of their mother and their inheritance of an old inn. The heroes are amazing, and bringing the inn back to life is fun, but I especially loved the sisters element.

JK Rowling, Harry Potter

I recently watched the early movies again and they reminded me of my love for the series. Next time I have a chance, I'm reading all seven books again. Book 5 The Order of the Phoenix was always my favourite (and I've read the entire series about five times), but it's been a while since I read them through and I'm wondering if I'll have a different fave this time?

Actually, thinking about my favourite series (and believe me, there were heaps more, including Susan Elizabeth Philips's footballers, and Sylvia Day's Crossfire books) has me wondering why I ever write anything but connected stories! Now my Hawke Brothers will be out in the world, I think I need to start plotting another family series. :)

To celebrate the next two Hawke Brothers books, Liam's story The Nanny Proposition is on special for 99c for a short time, so if you've wanted to grab a copy, now is a good time!

And now I'm standing by to hear about your favourite series, and I'll send a copy of Bidding on Her Boss to one commenter. Hit me!

Jul 29, 2015

Josephine Moon's Chocolate Tourism Bucket List

Do you love your chocolate? Me too! And other than combining chocolate with a good book, I can’t think of too much better than pairing chocolate with visiting a new place of interest.

While writing my latest novel, The Chocolate Promise (also called The Chocolate Apothecary in the UK), researching and taste-testing chocolate pretty much took over my life—and my dress size! And my palette for chocolate has changed. Only the finest will do these days. So now, I’ve begun writing myself a ‘Chocolate Tourism Bucket List’, to continue my love affair with this heavenly food.

Here are my current Top 5 locations:

1. Antica Dolceria Bonajuto. This is the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily. Let’s just consider that for a moment: chocolate + Sicily. It’s a no brainer, right? Top of my list.

2. Puyricard. This French chocolate artisan store is located just outside of Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, which is where the main character of The Chocolate Promise spends time with a master chocolatier, roams the beautiful countryside and encounters unexpected romance. I soaked up the research for this part of the novel and am positively salivating to go there in person and enjoy the delights of Provence, including this chocolate store.

3. Chocolate Walking Tour of Melbourne. A little closer to home for me, this would be a delightful weekend treat. Melbourne is known by many to be the food capital of Australia and I’ve no doubt the chocolate on this tour would leave a lasting impression. I only hear good things about this one. Definitely a To-Do, sooner, rather than later, I think. (At least the plane flight would be a quick one!)

4. Rococo. I certainly couldn’t comprise this list without including a visit to Rococo in London. You’ll find an acknowledgement to Chantal Coady (founder of Rococo) for her inspiration that influenced The Chocolate Promise and for good reason. I pored over her book, Rococo: Mastering the Art of Chocolate, as research for my novel. I even imported some of her creations. (The milk rose is my favourite.) I think I’d like to rent a flat just around the corner and simply hang out there every day, breathing it all in.

5. Cailler. I’ve been to Switzerland but only once and I would love to go back there. (I’ve even been trying to work in some sort of Swiss plot into a novel so I can have a tax-deductible reason to go.) And this factory has some pretty great architecture to go with the experience.

So there’s my shortlist to get me (and maybe you) started. I’m sure there are dozens of amazing places around the world that would keep me entertained on my chocolate tours. I’d love to hear your recommendations if you have any?


p.s. Here’s a recipe from Chantal Coady for Chocolate Ganache Teacups, which fortuitously combines two of my favourite foods: chocolate and tea!

About Josephine

Josephine Moon is the author of The Tea Chest and The Chocolate Promise. She lives on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with her husband, young son and far too many animals. She thinks about food pretty much all the time.

Jul 27, 2015

Postcards from New York

I'm still in New York so I thought you might like to see what I've been up to.....

I found a great little diner just down the road!

I saw quite a few Love Cats at the big Literacy signing.
Yvonne Lindsay.

Stefanie London
 Kandy Shepherd

 Louisa George

 My very first Cosmo ever!

Caught between the moon and New York City

The Harlequin black and White party at The Waldorf gave good dessert.

The RITA Awards were a very glittery affair. Our Louisa was robbed but a good night was had by all!

The chocolate RITA's were a winner and also delicious!

Until next time goodbye from New York xxxx

Jul 26, 2015

RITAday Smooch with Louisa George

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we bring you an extra-special Classic Smooch from LoveCats's RITA Finalist, Louisa George. Louisa's Enemies With Benefits is one of ten finalists in the Contemporary Romance: Short category.  The RITAs, hosted by Romance Writers of America, celebrate the very best romance novels published the previous year.  The 2015 winners will be announced during Sunday Smooch time DownUnder.  Best of luck, Louisa!

Before we revisit this classic smooch, the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Devika. Can you please contact Rachel (at) RachelBailey  (dot) com to receive your copy of Bidding on Her Boss.

And now for today's smooch ….

The last man on earth she should hook up with!

Poppy Spencer has discovered that there’s one thing worse than Christmas alone in her flat, and that’s spending it with Isaac Blair, her sworn-enemy-turned-reluctant-flatmate! And that’s not just because he knows all her secrets…but because his sexy-as-sin smile and taut physique are making her all hot and flustered -- despite the icy cold outside!

Unless a casual hook-up is just the thing she needs…? It’ll certainly break the simmering tension between them. The trouble is, with their history, this is going to be anything but casual…!

 #   #   #   #   #

US - Harlequin
Lead-up to the kiss...

Poppy’s experience with sex and relationships has been very limited and not very pleasant…she’s struggling with her feelings for her flatmate who she finds irritating in the extreme…she’s trying to prove to this disbeliever that snowflakes and Christmas can be magical and they find themselves having a snowball fight…

#   #   #   #   #

She screamed. Shivered. Turned. ‘Aww! What the…? You are the most irritating, stupid, insensitive…’ Chasing after him, scooping snow as she ran she threw a hard ball at his back, the smile finding its way back onto her mouth. ‘One more time, Isaac and I swear…’

He threw one back at her. Missed by a mile. On purpose. ‘What? You love snowball fights? What you going to do? Go on. I dare you.’

She threw another one. It lamely hit his leg. He ran and caught her up, reached out for her arm, grabbed it.

She spun around in the snow, dark eyes flashing with anger, heat, frustration.

Heat. It slammed through him like a thousand volts as he touched her.

Her body shook and she glanced down, surprised, at her trembling hands. Looked up at him for answers. He didn’t have any. He didn’t know what the hell was happening here either.

Her voice was thick and hoarse. ‘No. No. You’re not worth it.’

‘Oh, really?’ The electric force that had shimmied between them all evening spiked, stole his breath. He pulled her to him, slamming his body against hers. He needed to kiss her. To taste her again. Because one tiny kiss had been in no way enough last night.

If she had given him any indication that she did not want this as much as he did then he would have walked. But she kept staring at him, searching his face. Confused. Hungry.

Kiss / Larger Print
‘Really. You are so not worth it. Not worth it all.’ But this time her voice was hushed and thick and told him exactly what he needed to know.

He watched the movement of her throat as she swallowed, brushed a snowflake from her cheek. ‘Poppy…’

‘Yes?’ She stuck her tongue out again and caught another one, smiled in a way that shot hot spikes of need through him. Ran her tongue along her top lip leaving a wet trail that he ached to taste, and half drove him mad with desire. Her eyes widened and he was sure she didn’t realize the effect she was having on him. Either she had to stop or he had to… ‘You have got to stop doing that with your tongue.’

‘Why?’ Her breathing sped up, her lips parted just a little.

He tipped his head closer to her mouth, unable to do anything else but stand here, with her, holding her. ‘Because I have other ideas for it.’

Poppy heard the catch in her throat and felt the shiver run the length of her body as he pulled her to him by her coat lapels, pushed away her scarf and slid his mouth over hers. Felt her body ease against his. Felt the thick outlines of his heavy coat against hers- frustrated by the barriers. Grateful for the barriers.

Because she knew they were on different planets of experience, of expectation. She didn't want to kiss him. Didn't want to want him.

But she did. Wanted him to run his hands over her body. Wanted to see what it felt like to feel desirable, to be desirable; to Isaac.

And hell, she needed to stop hiding, stop processing. Start living. Start feeling- but she didn't know how. Wanted him to show her the way, but was afraid of what he'd think of her. And she sure as hell couldn't ask.

As he slowly licked across her bottom lip, any further thought fled her brain. Her body stopped processing anything beyond its innate feral response; the flashes of light and heat in her belly, the tingle in her breasts, the wet of her mouth.

She opened her mouth unable to resist the pull of him any more, wound her arms around his neck. Felt a strip of bare skin against her arm- that one inch enough to fire more light. More heat. Lost herself in touch, smell. Taste.
#   #   #   #   #

You can find Enemies with Benefits by Louisa George at Amazon | B&N | Book DepositoryMills and Boon | Harlequin and other digital bookstores.

Louisa is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter! To be in the draw, all you need do is comment.  Covers to Enemies with Benefits as published in various countries and imprints are included above: which is your favourite?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a brand new smooch will be posted!

Jul 24, 2015

A Mid-West Adventure....

I'm moving!

Well, not really....but I'm writing a brand new series for Harlequin Special Edition and it's set in a small town in South Dakota. For the past few years my books for Special Edition have all been set down-under....in a tiny beach side town that sits at the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef (where I live in real life). But I had a hankering to write about mid-western cowboys and ranches and I've always been intrigued by the Dakota's. So, The Cedar River Cowboy's were born.

And that's meant research....one of my least favorite things to do. I'm an instant gratification kind of person and have always found researching a chore. Writing my previous books required very little research because I live in a place exactly like where the books were set - beachside town, small community and so on. I know my town...I know every road and beach and landmark. I knew very little about South Dakota other than a vague interpretation I'd gleaned from TV. Oh, I knew about places like Deadwood or the Black Hills, and of course Mount Rushmore - but not much else.

So I started Googling. And surprisingly ( to my pantser, non-organized, right brain thinking self), it's been interesting researching things about another country - such as geography, weather, the political landscape, agriculture, commerce etc. I've learned about copper and silver mining, Honky Tonk restaurants and cattle rustling. Readers expect, and deserve authenticity in the books they buy and can sniff out a mistake at a hundred paces. I'm not sure if I'll get everything right, but now that book one is handed in to my editor and I'm deep into book two, I can feel a kind of rhythm happening. And it's so much fun.

Three Reasons to Wed will be available in January 2016 from harlequin Special Edition with a second and third book to follow.

I love reading books set in places I've never visited, do you?

Jul 22, 2015

What are you reading?

Can we talk about what you're reading? I'd love to pick up a book recommendation or two!

The book I'm reading is Ask Me Nicely by Amy Andrews.  I'm only a couple of chapters in but I'm loving it. Plus, I adored No More Mr Nice Guy (the hero is the brother of AMN's heroine), so I was already pretty sure I'd love it. Sexy, funny, sweet.

Just before this I read Anna Campbell's These Haunted Hearts. It's a novella, it has two couples trying to find their HEA, and a haunted bed. How cool is that? It had been on my kindle for a while and I'm probably behind the rest of the world in that I only just got around to reading it. I shouldn't have waited!

Before that I had a bit of trouble - I started about four books and couldn't get into them. That was probably because they had to follow a great book - I'd just finished Indecent Proposal by Molly O'Keefe. This book was recommended by Anna Campbell (so she's on my list twice this time!), and she was right. Intense, sexy, compelling.

So, over to you. What are you reading? Or what was the best book you read recently?

Jul 20, 2015

Count Down to Conference

By the time you see this post I’ll be in New York! That’s right, with the Romance Writers of America conference happening next week my husband and I decided to squeeze in a little sight-seeing.

This will be my second trip to New York but my first time attending the conference.

What am I most excited for?

The Harlequin Black and White Ball
This is a special event for all the Harlequin authors and it’s going to be held at the Waldorf Astoria!!! I love old school glamour, so this is right up my street. The idea of black and white events always appealed (Derby Day, anyone?) and of course I had to by a new dress. You know, it’s for work…right?

The “Readers for Life” Literacy Signing
This will be my first time signing books at an event! Seems like all those years practising my signature on my school books is about to pay off. The great thing about this event is that it’s raising money for three different literacy-based charities, so it
Exciting events mean a new dress!
’s for a good cause.

Meeting up with all my writer friends
When all the people you chat to day in and day out on Facebook are scattered across the globe, any event that brings them together is a good thing! I’m excited to catch up with my fellow LoveCats who’re making the trek over as well as meeting a ton of people who I only know online. For me, writing is never a lonely task as there’s always an email or message from a friend to respond to, and plenty of people willing to lend an ear or offer a kind word when things get rough.

Meeting my editor and agent
These people play such an important role in an author’s career and it’s easy to go years without ever meeting them in person. I’m taking advantage of everyone being in New York for the conference to put a face to the name (or should that be a face to the email address?)

Learning and growing
Conference is a hugely busy time. But I’m promising myself to make it to a few workshops on the topics I’m most interested in. I’m also playing the role of moderator in one session, which will be fun as it’s been a while since I’ve had my public speaking hat on.

Have you ever been to conference for work? Was it a good experience? I’d love to hear any funny stories of things that happened while you were there :)

Jul 19, 2015

Sunday Smooch with Rachel Bailey

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Rachel Bailey's Bidding on Her Boss but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Mary Preston.

Can you please contact stefanie (at) stefanie-london (dot) com to receive your copy of A Kiss in Kite Harbour.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Bidding on Her Boss.

What happens when an ambitious employee buys her boss at a bachelor auction? Find out in this story from USA TODAY bestselling author Rachel Bailey! 

Florist Faith Crawford has a brilliant plan—win her company's CEO at a bachelor auction and use their "date" to show him her designs. But her plan backfires when the focus of their meeting shifts from flowers to a floor-tilting kiss. 

For Dylan Hawke, it's time for damage control. Promoting the talented Faith is a no-brainer, but fraternizing with her is strictly forbidden. Dylan must remain professional—the fate of his business rests in the balance. Too bad Dylan won't rest until he gets another kiss…

Scene set-up

Faith Crawford has been working in one of Dylan Hawke's florist stores but has never met the big boss. So when she sees that there's a package of three dates with him available in a charity auction, she uses all her savings to buy them. Dylan expects to be going on an actual date, but Faith takes him to her store -- his store -- and shows him her floristry skills, hoping to get one of her designs in the catalog all the stores work from. 

Smooch  -

Faith added another peony to the arrangement and tried to ignore the prickles on the back of her neck that told her Dylan was watching her again. Of course, that’s what the whole night had been engineered to achieve, but he was only sometimes following what her hands were doing. At other times…

Heat rose in her belly as she thought about the way he’d been staring at her mouth a few minutes ago. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had looked at her with that much hunger. Especially a man she’d been wanting to wrap herself around and kiss as if there was no tomorrow ever since he’d stepped out of his sex-on-wheels car.

And that it had to be Dylan Hawke, the CEO of the company? Well, that was fate playing a cruel joke on her. So she pretended that she wasn’t wildly attracted to the man in front of her and that he wasn’t sending her the same signals. She focused on the flowers. Which was working out fairly well, except for the prickles on the back of her neck.

But she needed to concentrate, to stop letting herself be distracted. Ruthlessly she reminded herself of what was at stake: getting this right could mean a fantastic boost to her career. She turned the arrangement with quick flicks of her wrist, checking for symmetry. Just a few stray leaves to trim. She snipped them away carefully. It looked good, balanced in color and form…but was it special enough to go into the catalog? She’d controlled her wilder artistic urges and gone for a safer conservative arrangement to impress. Butterflies fluttered mercilessly in her stomach. For the first time, she realized how much Mary’s criticism had dented her confidence in her creativity.

She reached out to touch a crisp green leaf. This arrangement was finished—but still she hesitated.

“All done?”

She jolted at the sound of Dylan’s voice so close to her ear. Last time she’d been aware of him, he’d been on the other side of the bench. She tried to move to the side. Her foot caught on something and she felt herself begin to fall. A hand closed around her arm, and her almost certain tumble was averted. She closed her eyes, and then opened them to find Dylan staring at her. The picture of him on the company website was nothing like the living, breathing man before her.

With him so close, no more than a hand span away, his scent surrounded her. It was dark and mysterious, surprising. She’d have expected something lighter, more recognizable, perhaps one of the expensive name-brand colognes. Yet this had undertones of a night in the forest—earthy, secretive and alluring. A shiver ran down her body to her toes. Dylan stilled.

Her breath caught in her throat. She could feel the heat from his body reaching out to envelop her. The world receded around her and all she could see, all she could feel, was Dylan. His eyes darkened and she swallowed hard. She should step away, not let her body lead her into temptation. But, oh, what temptation this man was. She could feel her pulse thundering at the base of her throat and saw Dylan’s gaze drop to observe the same thing.

“Faith,” he murmured, his breathing uneven.

She closed her eyes, fighting the effect of hearing her name on his lips, and when she opened them again, he was closer than before, his breath fanning over her face. Her hands found their way to his chest, so solid and warm.

A shudder ran down his body at her touch.

“Please—” she said, and before she could finish the thought his mouth was on hers. A small part of her mind told her to pull away, but instead, her hands fisted in his shirt, not letting him go.

He groaned as she opened her mouth to him, and his arms wrapped around her, holding her close while pushing her back against the workbench. His tongue was like nothing else as it stroked along the side of hers, leaving her wanting more. To be closer. So much closer.

She was lost.

I had a lot of fun writing a bachelor auction story! Tell me, have you read a good bachelor / bachelorette auction story before? I'd love to hear some recommendations! I'll send a copy of Bidding on Her Boss to one commenter.

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from Louisa George will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Jul 17, 2015

Going crazy ...


Ever had one of those weeks where you seem to be going round and round in circles and not quite achieving? I'm in one of those - except it's been more like a month. It started with a wonderful writers' weekend in Blenheim. Our wonderful cat, Barb Deleo was there, and Louisa George in mind if not in person. I love these weekends and wouldn't miss them for anything.
The following week I flew to Auckland with a girlfriend for catch up with two other friends over four days. Busy, busy, talk, talk, drink wine, eat great food, then two of the girls got sick. Just as well we missed seeing Louisa there too as I'd hate it if she'd caught the bug before leaving for NY.
Back home to find revisions on my latest book hovering in the in box. Yes, I still like to read a print out at this stage of my books.
The phone goes, it's family - 'We're coming to stay.'
That was Monday.

A great time had by all, then change the sheets and towels, ready for the next round.

On with the revisions and working on the next story.

Supplies are running low, and an appointment, which means a three hour drive to town and back, along with all the time spent there managing to spend a fair whack of dollars. Food for dinner tomorrow night when friends are coming round.

What happened to my walks this week? Today, I promise. Except those slippers look a darn sight more tempting than the walking shoes. Oh, and I might have to go back to town. I haven't even got these put away yet. Throw in that I haven't been sleeping for over a week and you get the picture. The head is full of fog today.
But there is something to look forward to that's really exciting. Our second grandchild is due in five weeks and as her brother came three weeks early it is thought our granddaughter may do the same.
Guess that means packing our bags so that we can leave for the five hour drive the moment we're summoned. These two cuties are going on the journey with us for the new arrival.

Revisions? What revisions?

Do you ever have weeks where you feel you're chasing your tail? I'm sure everyone does. Tell me how you cope. I just go faster and faster until I implode - not a good look.

Jul 15, 2015


I'm leaving today... (it's a good thing you guys can't hear me, to be honest. My Frank Sinatra impressions leave a lot to be desired!)

So, today I head out to New York for about a week of  research and sightseeing, and then the Romance Writers of America conference! I'm so excited!

So far we have some very interesting things planned for our stay and I'm really looking forward to meeting with readers, other authors who I only get to see if I travel to the US and my editors! In fact, I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking forward to the most.

I find I rarely allow myself enough time to get excited about travelling--partly because I slam my deadlines right up to the day before I'm leaving--but this year I've spaced things out a little better and each night I'm going to sleep and counting the nights until we hop on that plane and the butterflies in my tummy are very much like the fireworks in the photo on this post, LOL! So, yeah, this time around I'm getting super excited! It's going to be great.

Have you been to New York? If so, what's your favourite thing to do or see there--what would you recommend to a New York virgin? And, if you haven't been to New York, what would you most like to see or do there? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Jul 13, 2015

Five Reasons Why August is Crazy

August is always a big month for me.  This year doubly so.  Five big things are happening in August which will make my life very, very busy.

New Billionaire Book Available
I’m thrilled to announce my new release – The Billionaire’s Passionate Revenge – will be available for pre-order in August.  Here’s the premise:

Heiress Lady Zara Ravensdale and Xavier Hunt, the gardener's son, were once inseparable. But before their romance had a chance to bloom it was crushed by scandal and betrayal.

Wealthy and attractive, Xavier is now an international celebrity while Zara is deep in debt, running Ravensdale Manor as an upmarket hotel to make ends meet. Unable to forget the past, Xavier returns to Ravensdale determined to have his revenge on the Ravensdales  once and for all.

Together again, passions reignite and the old chemistry becomes impossible to ignore. But Xavier and Zara are both keeping secrets, and holding on to their own version of events.  With so many questions that still need answering, will they be able to uncover the truth or will Xavier's need for revenge tear them apart forever? 

So, I’m going to be flat out doing marketing from now on.

Appearing at the Byron Bay Writers Festival – Sunday 9 August
For the second year running, the Byron Bay Writers Festival will feature a romance panel. Hooray! 

I will appear again this year with Honey Brown and Krissy Kneen. The panel is titled Romance:  Escapism or Relationship Hotline and will be chaired by Moya Sayer-Jones. Would love to see lots of romance lovers in the audience.

RWA Conference – attending, presenting and chairing
The Romance Writers Conference of Australia is an annual highlight.  This year I’m
presenting a session with romantic suspense author Helene Young and will be chairing a panel called Agents and Acquiring Editors.  I’m currently busy preparing for both.

Moving House
And, if that’s not enough, we are moving house! So far I’ve only tackled my daughter’s bedroom and I’ve already assembled enough “treasures” to hold a garage sale.  The house is covered in boxes and general craziness.

Our new house needs some maintenance and the exterior painted, so I’m also juggling tradies at the new place as well.

Deadline for the Dirty Draft
And, I’ve given myself to the end of this month to get the dirty draft done on my next book.  I’m thirty thousand words in, but want it done. Now!

So I have an action packed month coming up. I hope August is shaping up to be a great month for you!

I’d love your help! 

Before appearing at a Festival or doing an author event or media interview, I try to anticipate some of the questions I might be asked as part of my preparation. If you were attending the Byron Bay Writers Festival, what question might you ask me or one of my fellow romance writers?